Hungary Moves Closer to a National Forest Certification System

Hungary has taken an important step forwards in the development of its National Forest Certification System with the launch of the national public consultation for the Hungarian sustainable forest management standard.

There has been a growing demand among local stakeholders for a PEFC-endorsed forest certification system in the country since as far back as 2002. However, due to Hungary’s short history of private forest ownership, the country has lacked a strong association to take on the role of National Governing Body – a vital role for both the development and running of a national system.

Since 2012, ERFARET, a research and development organization founded by the University of West Hungary, with support from the 2012 PEFC Collaboration Fund, has run a project to build capacity among private forest owners and initiate the development of a Hungarian forest certification system.

A big step forward came in May 2013 as the Hungarian Forest Certification Non-profit Ltd. was established as the country’s National Governing Body. Since then stakeholders have been working on developing a Hungarian sustainable forest management standard which, as part of the Hungarian national forest certification system, will eventually be submitted to PEFC for endorsement.

The initial draft of the sustainable forest management standard was finalized towards the beginning of 2015. The national public consultation has now been launched to gain further reviews, amendments and suggestions, before the final draft of the standard can be approved.

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